Work Abroad

Adventure Travel

“Adventure travel” began in the 1960s with overland truck companies taking several months to follow classic hippy routes like London to Kathmandu, or Cape Town to Cairo. As the industry grew, tours evolved to be more mainstream. Throwing out the trucks for comfortable air conditioned buses, the tents for hotels, and shortening the length of the trips to fit in with the working person’s annual holiday.

There are still some overland truck companies that try to stick to the original ethos, but those making the big bucks are more flexible, and offer different types of tours all over the globe. Trekking in the Himalayas, cycling in Dordogne, cultural trips to North Korea, or London to Aqaba by Rail to mention but a few.

Companies like “Bails” and “Cocks and Kings” offer a greater class of hotels, more expensive tours and as a result, smaller, snootier groups. Others like “Kumuka” and “Budget” focus on the younger, more backpacker crowds. The tours are cheaper, and as such you can expect to spend more time sleeping in tents, youth hostels or in the truck. The larger companies like “Exodus” and “Explore” offer the full shebang and have different grades of tours to suit all.

Sixteen is a pretty standard number for an adventure tour group. The tours are not necessarily cheap (depending on which company you go with), so those that book are often professionals with limited time to arrange such an expedition for themselves. Others choose group travel because they want a hassle free trip, or because they are apprehensive about traveling to certain regions independently.

However, once in while they are just oddballs, lacking the social skills and common sense to travel by themselves. The obligatory solitary weirdo comes all inclusive on most trips.

I am careful not to use the word ‘holiday’ here. With early starts almost everyday, and a jam packed, often physically demanding itinerary, adventure tour operators provide ‘travel experiences’. Certainly not the way most people would choose to spend their annual leave. A holiday is what you might need afterwards.

Sixteen is a pretty standard number for an adventure tour group. The tours are not necessarily cheap (depending on which company you go with), so those that book are often professionals with limited time to arrange such an expedition for themselves. Others choose group travel because they want a hassle free trip, or because they are apprehensive about travelling to certain regions independently.

However, once in while they are just oddballs, lacking the social skills and common sense to travel by themselves. The obligatory solitary weirdo comes all inclusive on most trips.

I am careful not to use the word “Holiday” here. With early starts almost everyday, and a jam packed, often physically demanding itinerary, adventure tour operators provide “travel experiences”. Certainly not the way everybody would choose to spend their annual leave . A “holiday” is what you may well need afterwards.

Tariq El Kashef

Tariq El Kashef is the author and editor of www.alternativeegypt.com – The Online Egypt Travel Guide